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Art that moves and re imagines place: a case-study on Tron Rocks

This workshop and presentation pushes into public art spaces and mobilities by drawing attention to place, environmental exploration, movement and the politics of care and kindness. Ideas loop back to, and are inspired by Peter Young’s 2015 documentary The Art of Recovery and the Lost and Found Project’s (2012) crafts of kindness in Christchurch post-disaster cityscapes. Here I present an autobiographical account of engaging with Waikato spaces and art through Hamilton’s Tron Rock group. The Tron, the colloquial name for Hamilton, is one of the country’s major nexus for painting and hiding rocks in and around urban spaces, public gardens, parks, lakes and the university campus. By painting rocks and ‘releasing them into the wild,’ participants use the online platform Facebook to facilitate a game of treasure hunting. The core politics that facilitate the ‘game’ is environmental respect, gifting and sharing art. Art is mobilised, it literally and emotionally moves, with shared journeys documented on Tron Rock sites. The thrill of discovery and sharing has mobilised groups of children and adults, as artists who reconfigure places by hiding rocks. I argue that geography and mobilites are crucial to think about how Tron Rocks has dynamically changed people-place engagements, as well as the breakdown of the categorisation of art as site-specific. Art literally travels. Rocks continue, may return or may never be seen again, it is all part of the game. I invite participants to this workshop to create their own rock and either keep it, set it free during the Symposium or hide elsewhere.
Conference Contribution
Type of thesis
Adams-Hutcheson, G. (2018). Art that moves and re imagines place: a case-study on Tron Rocks. Presented at the Mobilities, Stories, Movement and Art: Mobilities Network of Aotearoa/NZ-AUSMOB Joint Symposium, Conference held at The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand.